The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has increased the amount of aid it is seeking to support operations to combat locust swarms across eastern Africa, upping the figure it says is needed from $76 million to $138 million. A swarm of the insects has been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country already reeling from violent conflict and an Ebola outbreak, for the first time in 75 years.
The United Nations is appealing to all parties to halt attacks on or near refugee camps and civilian infrastructure in Syria and seeking $500 million to provide badly-needed aid to 1.1 million displaced Syrians. Approximately 148,000 civilians in Syria's Idlib have been displaced in the last six days, bringing the total displaced so far this year to nearly two million, response coordinators say.
Proponents of having a National Guard and Reserve in the new Space Force are eager for Congress to take up the matter. "Any determination of Space Command composition must include the National Guard, whose conduct of domestic operations will require access to and coordination of Space Command assets," said ROA Executive Director Jeffrey Phillips.
The Coast Guard station in Charleston, S.C., will be transformed into a major base of Coast Guard assets, with more personnel and cutting-edge vessels, according to Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz, who announced the upgrades in his State of the Coast Guard address last week. The makeover will take about five years to complete, starting with $140 million in improvements to its shoreside facilities.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has called on VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to provide workers with the Veterans Crisis Line with updated technology to locate callers who may be in imminent danger of harming themselves. Collins' actions were prompted by a news report that emergency responders were sent to the wrong house in the wrong state by crisis line workers to investigate a possible suicide attempt.
The Michigan National Guard is being honored for environmental stewardship at its Fort Custer Training Center, winning National Guard Bureau recognition in the small installations category. The center uses technology to monitor wildlife in the area.
Florida's Duke Field, home to the Air Force Reserve's 919th Special Operations Wing and the Air Force's 492nd Special Operations Wing, and Hurlburt Field, which houses the 919th Special Operations Wing's 6th Special Operations Squadron and the 711th Special Operations Squadron, may get more personnel and aircraft, thanks to basing decisions made by Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett. The decision may expand Duke Field by 123 more personnel and five light aircraft, while Hurlburt could get three to five new light-attack aircraft.
Veterans organizations behind Honor Flight Chicago, which transports veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit war memorials, has added a trip dedicated to honoring female veterans called Operation HerStory. The flight will take place Oct. 7.
WithMerci Foundation, founded by Houston Texans player Whitney Mercilus, will focus its donations on aphasia, apraxia and other invisible disabilities this year. "It is my goal that we continue to educate the community on all disabilities and make sure everyone understands it's not just physical or visible, they come in an invisible way as well," Mercilus says.
The town of Roeland Park, Kan., is considering an ordinance amendment to ban discriminatory language in HOA covenants, citing antiquated covenants in the community that list "banning African Americans, Jews and other ethnic groups from ownership or occupancy." The CAI Board of Trustees will soon consider a public policy that supports legislation that gives authority to the board to amend covenants that are discriminatory and illegal (based on the Fair Housing Act).